RESTAURANT REVIEW: Barrelhouse BBQ adds burgers

the new Barrel House BBQ burger
Barrel House BBQ’s new burger will be exclusively available at their Lynchburg location. (A Lynchburg Times Photo)

By Tabitha Evans Moore | EDITOR & PUBLISHER

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Necessity is sometimes the mother of invention. That’s how one of southern, middle Tennessee’s best burgers ended up at a barbecue joint in Lynchburg.

Several months ago, Chuck Baker expanded his regional restaurant empire with a little spot near the Duck River in Shelbyville called the Hall’s Mill Market. It didn’t take long for the quaint riverside restaurant to develop a reputation for THE new burger to try in the area.

That’s when Chuck decided to duplicate that menu item on his Lynchburg Square location’s menu.

“People always ask me about burgers. There seemed to be a need locally, so it felt like a good fit,” he says.

On Sunday, I decided to try one myself, and it did not disappoint.

Eight ounces of nostalgia

My nephew, Kyler, his girlfriend, Kristianna, and I visited Barrelhouse BBQ following the Sunday lunch crowd. Just 30 minutes earlier, diners filled the restaurant from one end to the other as tour buses waited outside. It was a full house.

As the newspaper editor in a small town, people often get suspicious when I dine alone. So, I’d brought Kyler and Kristianna along as decoys. It didn’t work. As I walked in the front door, Chuck shouted back at his 17-year-old “rockstar” line cook, Levi Baker, “No pressure Levi, but Tabitha’s here to review your burger.”

I did not call to warn Chuck I was coming. He just knows me well. I live by the rule of “everything is copy.”

Kyler ordered a pulled pork sandwich and fries, and Kristianna ordered the Grilled Cheese on Crack. Both were guffawed by the amount of food they were served, and both required to-go boxes. We all did.

As the waitress puts my food down, the first thing I notice on the plate is the wide, thin-cut fries.

“That’s genius,” I think, as I bite into one. It’s just the perfect amount crunchy. As a teenager who always dug through her McDonald’s French fries for the crunchies, I know I cannot be the only one who likes a crisp fried potato.

Just like the other two items we ordered, the burger portion is a lot. It’s a full eight ounces of burger on a six-inch-wide bun. You could easily split it with a friend. The burger reminds me of the old Tullahoma Jiffy Dip burgers I ate as a child. It made me nostalgic for Saturday afternoon lunches with my grandfather in his classic, yellow Impala.

The hand-patted patty is juicy despite it’s high-heat cook. Today’s burger is topped with what looks like homegrown tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and onions. It’s served with all condiments on the side on a traditional white bread bun. You can order it with either American or pepper jack cheese.

If you are hungry and craving a burger, you could not make a better choice.

Barrel House BBQ is located just off the public square in Lynchburg. They specialize in pit-smoked barbecue, pork ribs, and their world famous, Grilled Cheese on Crack. They are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To learn more. check out their Facebook page or visit their website. The also boast a second location located at The Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville. For now, the burger is only available at their Lynchburg location.•

{The Lynchburg Times is a nonpartisan community newspaper serving Lynchburg, Tennessee and the surrounding counties. We also provide news and information for the 350,000 folks who come to Lynchburg to visit The Jack Daniel’s Distillery each year. We are dedicated to public service journalism for the greater good of our community. You can support us, by clicking here.}